Manila [Philippines], September 7 (ANI/Xinhua): The Philippines reported 18,012 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections on Tuesday, bringing the Southeast Asian country's confirmed cases to 2,121,308, the country's Department of Health (DOH) said.
The DOH also reported 161 coronavirus-related deaths, raising the country's death toll to 34,498. Twelve laboratories failed to submit data.
World Health Organization country representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe called on the government to increase the COVID-19 testing to detect clusters and other transmission sources.
He added that testing only the close contacts of infected persons "does not give the full benefit of the investment in testing."
The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested over 18 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.
With the recent spike of infections due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, the government has adjusted its risk management strategy and intensified its health response to contain the new wave of infections.
The government believed the granular lockdowns starting Wednesday, together with the heightened implementation of swift detection and isolation of the infections, will help curb the spread of the virus while bringing back jobs lost due to blanket restrictions.
The country's economic team urged people "to remain on guard at all times, and to adhere to minimum public health standards strictly."
The government is also ramping up its vaccination drive. As of Monday, the Philippines has administered more than 36 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and fully vaccinated over 15 million people.
It aims to fully inoculate up to 70 million this year. (ANI/Xinhua)